President Biden did not downplay the allegations. He said that China will face severe consequences.
An article from the New York Post said that President Joe Biden tried to shrug off human rights violations and genocide in China. The article alleged that Biden downplayed the atrocities being committed against Uighur Muslims as a “different norm.” The article is based on comments Biden made during a CNN Town Hall in Wisconsin.
We combed through the conversation's full transcript, and it is clear that the article misrepresented what Biden said. When asked about his recent conversation with his Chinese counterpart, Biden said that there would be repercussions for China if they’re engaged in activity contrary to basic human rights.
The NY Post article misconstrued Biden’s statement, saying that the president dubbed the mass internment a “different norm” — despite the State Department's response to “atrocities” in the camps. On the contrary, Biden spoke about the moral imperative that the US has to condemn such abuses. He was only trying to explain China President Xi Jinping's motives and not relaying Xi’s justification for the abuses.
The article also claims that Biden continued to respond that he is “not going to speak out against” the Chinese Communist Party’s belligerent actions in Hong Kong, against the Uighurs, or in Taiwan. But if we actually analyze what the president said, it is clear that he conveyed the exact opposite of what the NY Post report claimed.
Biden said: “And so the idea that I am not going to speak out against what he’s doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uighurs in western mountains of China and Taiwan — trying to end the one-China policy by making it forceful, I said—by the way, he said he gets it.”
During the Town Hall, Biden recalled the days when he was the Vice President of the U.S. when Xi Jinping was the Vice President of China. Biden had a good relationship with XI Jinping at this time, and the president stated that his Chinese counterpart understood the stance of America on human rights policies. Nowhere did Biden downplay the importance of the human rights violations and genocides being committed in China.